When it’s a warm summer’s day, there’s nothing quite like a picnic or a barbecue in the sun.
But for many outdoor eaters, it can quickly become a bit of a nightmare at this time of year with the hum of a wasp thrusting your way.
Wasps are usually a natural means of pest control and tend to eat other insects.
During August and September, their attention turns to sweet food which makes them even more annoyed.
But what can you do to avoid spoiling them for the fun?
We have put together some important tips for you.
How to check if there is a wasp’s nest near you
According to the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), if you see a large number of wasps in and around your home or business, there is likely a wasp nest or something large that attracts them nearby.
A spokesperson added: “Wasps nests come in different shapes and sizes.
“They are amazing pieces of architecture that can contain up to 5,000 wasps during peak activity in late summer.
“They build their nest using chewed wood and saliva to make a paper mache material.”
Wasps are likely to nest in sheltered places, so check the following:
- under the trees
- in the bushes
- under the eaves
- In your shed or garage
How can I prevent wasps from entering my home?
The BPCA says prevention is always better than cure and has the following advice:
- Keep windows and doors closed or use standard flycatchers to prevent wasps from entering
- Keep your bins closed – open boxes will attract greedy wasps looking for a cheap, sweet meal.
- Keep boxes away from home and make sure the lid is placed correctly.
- Check for nests early You can check all potential sites for wasps every spring when the nests are small and easy to handle. It will be the size of a golf ball. Check the loft, garage, shed and under cornices.
What do I do when a wasp keeps flying towards me?
Rentokil says you should always stay put if a wasp approaches you.
A spokesperson added: “If you have to run, do it in a straight line without flapping your arms.
“Protect your head and face, these areas are often targeted by wasps.”
But don’t try to hit her
“If you hit the wasp or swing your arms, it will make it more aggressive and more likely to sting you.
“Don’t look for shelter in a body of water, because the wasps will simply wait for you to appear again.”
How can I avoid attracting or stinging wasps?
- Carefully dispose of all foods and drinks, especially soda cans.
- Don’t leave sugary drinks unattended. Also, always check sugary drinks for wasps before consuming them.
- Keep all areas of your belongings clean and tidy.
- Check for wasps activity before doing any gardening activity.
- Avoid strong smells and bright clothes.
- Protect your feet by wearing closed shoes.
If you are using a spray to kill a wasp, leave the room immediately after spraying.
Dying hornets are often prone to stinging and may become stunned rather than dead.
If you spray an insecticide, also remember to remove food, cover fruit, and protect pets and people from inhalation.
How to treat a wasp sting
Advice from the NHS to treat an insect bite is:
- Remove the sting if it is still on the skin
- Wash the affected area with soap and water
- Put a cold compress (such as a flannel or a washcloth cooled with cold water) or an ice pack on any swelling for at least 10 minutes
- Elevate or raise the affected area if possible, as this can help reduce swelling
- Avoid scratching the area to reduce the risk of infection
- Avoid traditional home remedies, such as vinegar and baking soda, as they are unlikely to help
How do I remove a wasp insect?
Scrape it aside with something with a hard edge, like a bank card, or your fingernail if you don’t have anything else to hand.
Do not pinch the sting with your fingers or tweezers because you may spread the venom.